4 Natural Deodorants That Actually Work

Switching to a natural beauty routine is great in theory. Who doesn’t want to rely on plant-based products to look and feel their best? But when it comes to your pits, au natural doesn’t quite carry the same cachet. In fact, it’s quite the opposite and chances are, you’ll need to loosen your expectations a bit.

Jessica Alba, actress and founder of Honest Beauty Company (and green-beauty queen) even admitted to the perils of natural deodorants in her book, The Honest Life.

“I won’t lie. If I have to walk a red carpet or give a big presentation, I’m reaching for that trustworthy but toxin-filled Big Name Super-Strong Antiperspirant. You can’t risk pit stains in those high-pressure situations, and the nontoxic deodorant formulas just aren’t there yet.”

The good news is, even us non-Hollywood folk can benefit from the new technology that is vastly improving the natural deodorant category. In other words, you no longer have to choose between stinky vs. synthetic. The key to finding the right formula for you? Get realistic about your expectations. Is wetness your issue? Or are you more concerned with smell? A natural deodorant will never replace a traditional antiperspirant that contains aluminum (no, this doesn’t mean it causes breast cancer) and works by blocking sweat glands. It will, however, provide a healthy option for neutralizing scent, moderate wetness protection and well, deodorizing. If there’s one piece of advice we can offer it’s this: give the product a chance to work. Trying something for a few days just doesn’t cut it when it comes to adopting a new habit or making the switch to a natural deodorant. Try opting for the trial size (if available) to see if it’s a fit.

Here are the natural deodorants that made our cut based on a specific type/need.

Best baking soda-free formula:

Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick

Those with a baking soda intolerance will appreciate this sensitive-friendly formula that boasts plant and mineral powders alongside citrusy essential oils from grapefruit, sweet orange and lemon. The bonus? Its packaging is made from biodegradable paper.

Best scent:

Leaves of Trees Lavender and Tangerine Deodorant

Lavender can be polarizing when it comes to scent but the effect is more subtle than strong, thanks to the tangerine component. These essential oils don’t just smell pretty, they’re also anti-bacterial and help soothe and balance out the moisture of your skin. Since this contains baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) be sure to do a test patch since some people have a reaction to this ingredient.

Best spray:

Saje Natural Wellness Floral Crystal Fresh Deodorant

Natural deodorants that use crystals or mineral salts aren’t new but it is when it’s in liquid form. Rather than just masking smell with a calming floral scent of lavender and ylang ylang, this deodorant also neutralizes it, thanks to liquid mineral salt. Be sure to let it dry before getting dressed.

Best innovation:

Kaia Naturals Charcoal Underarm Detox Kit

This kit is the first of its kind and aims to make the transition to a natural deodorant easier (and less stinky) by way of detox. It includes a booster bar, bamboo charcoal deodorant and charcoal detox hot bath to ensure your five stages of detox are carried through. Anyone who has ever tried to make the switch, only to quit a few days later will appreciate this groundbreaking, multi-prong approach.

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